Trials to potentially use driverless vehicles for deliveries to Nissan in Sunderland have passed their next major landmark.

The pioneering 5G Connected and Automated Logistics (5G CAL) pilot has succeeded in its mission to provide a more efficient future for last-mile logistics.

StreetDrone’s innovative autonomous and teleoperation technology, has been built into a Terberg EV truck for a consortium comprising the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), Sunderland City Council, Newcastle University, Coventry University, Connected Places Catapult, StreetDrone and Perform Green, supported by Nissan, Vantec Europe, Terberg DTS UK and Fergusons Transport.

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These innovative partners have spent the last 23 months understanding and utilising pioneering 5G technology in an operational automotive environment for the very first time in the UK, to develop the UK’s first zero emission automated logistics HGV.

The 5G CAL pilot is a proof that an autonomous truck can be automated to drive between Vantec and Nissan, with the vehicle’s teleoperations system using next generation technology connected to a private 5G network to facilitate remote teleoperations.

The Northern Echo: Mike Potts-StreetDrone_Patrick Melia-Sunderland City Council_Paul Butler-NEAA_Martin Kendall-VantecMike Potts-StreetDrone_Patrick Melia-Sunderland City Council_Paul Butler-NEAA_Martin Kendall-Vantec

Paul Butler, CEO of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), said: “It is an extremely proud moment to be able to stand here and say that the use of 5G powering a unique hybrid of autonomous and tele-operated technology has now proven the potential for unprecedented change in the field of last mile logistics.Martin Kendall, Managing Director at Vantec Europe Limited, said: “Having our drivers involved during the operational phase in both the ‘In Cab’ and Tele Ops activities has really enabled the workforce to see the benefits regarding new skills that will come to our industry.

t really was exciting to see, on the 9th and 10th June, Vantec delivering a loaded vehicle into Nissan using the autonomous and tele operations.”

StreetDrone’s automated HGV delivery already works at the Nissan Sunderland plant in the UK. The repetitive driving of articulated goods vehicles along an arterial route on the manufacturing site is now partly enabled by autonomous and teleoperated software, a useful substitute for scarce HGV drivers.